Tuesday, January 27, 2009

KANDHAMAL (K)CONVERSION !


Debate on conversion frequently generates heat. One of the burning examples of this is, communal and religious violence in Kandhamal, Orissa, India. Conversion really consists in persuading a person to change opinion, his belief, or his way of life, by convincing him about the truth and soundness of the tenets of another religion, creed or political system, and for adopting it. For example, people may be persuaded to discard organized religion, its rituals and superstitious practices, and to accept rationalist philosophy, or any other religion. It is argued that, no one should be persuaded to leave the religion of his birth, and embrace another. Why should not the choice be left to the individuals? There have been and can be genuine conversion resulting from study, reflections and inner convictions, and from attraction to a particular religion. In many parts of India many Dalits (low-caste people) have converted to Islam and Christianity, in order to escape from untouchability, same thing is happening in Kandhamal too. Dalits from Schedule Tribe who are used to be animist, converted to Christianity of being convinced about the truth, and soundness of Christianity, (genuine conversion) However outside of Christianity and in political realm, Christians have been accused of promoting conversion(by allurement, by means of fraudulent or by force) which provoked to the great ravage in Kandhamal.

In Kandhamal Christianity has grown six times more since the year 1967- 2001. So the question arises, without allurement, fraudulent or force, how could it be possible? So growth of Christianity in Kandhamal is a great threat to other religion, especially to Hinduism. People (non- Christians) are being accepted towards Christianity to bring changes in their life, and live a life of being set free from social evil rituals, superstitions and illiteracy. For example, ST (tribal) people even though they are Hindu not allowed entering in the temple, not even allowed for education, because they are considered as the low castes. But in Christianity, as a Christian they have full authority to enter church and they do have right to be a pastor in church. They access equal right in Christianity.

The crux of the matter is, an individual really free to choose God, his religion, his creed, and the way of life, according to his conscience? That is the essence of freedom of religion, which is one of the foundations of a democratic society, which recognizes plurality of religion. Therefore, we should not prevent genuine conversion by direct or indirect restriction.

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2 comments:

  1. We all serve the same GOD we just have different ritual and traditions when it comes to how we serve the greatest. Do you agree?

    When will we get past this conversion process.

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  2. If we worship same God, why there are differences in traditions and rituals?
    How can Allah, Brahma, Yahweh be one? I do not agree that all people are worshiping same God.

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